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DiscoDave

Responsibility For Repair And Implications

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We're renting out landlords house whilst they are out of the country for a few years therefore we have all the white goods however they're definitely 'lived in' and not particularly new

This last week the fridge has broken down and looks to not be repairable, this is where the AST comes in, I had not noticed that we are responsible for the repair/replacement specifically as follows

"Have the use of all appliances within the property as laid out in the inventory save those which are noted as not working. Should any items require repair or be beyond repair the Landlord does not undertake to pay for any costs of repair or to replace the appliances except those which the landlord is required by law to maintain"

Whilst I'm broadly OK with getting a new fridge I presume that I then own that however it's not clear from the term above whether that's the case. To further complicate things our landlord has offered to pay half of any repair or replacement.

My view is I'd share repair costs but to avoid confusion would pay for a new fridge myself and take it at the end of tenancy but what's the view on this forum?

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I'd buy your own fridge, stick theirs in the garage/basement, and take yours/put theirs back in place when you leave. Also assume they will try and stiff you for the cost of a replacement for their broken fridge from your deposit - and act accordingly.

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Thanks and normally I'd agree however they are decent landlords and I don't believe they're trying to screw me over, especially given they have offered to pay half which they don't have to per the contract.

I suppose what I'm trying to understand is that with clauses like this where the appliance breaks through wear and tear, and is not economically repairable, if I buy a new one am I legally able to take it with me. Digging around Shelter seems to think (wrongly) that repairs are the responsibility of the landlord, whereas this is only if it's stated in the AST.

Basically it seems 'reasonable' that buy a new one and get to keep it when I go but before I discuss it with them wanted to be clearer on precedent.

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You need a fridge. I would put it up there with needing a boiler. If the LL is not acting on your request, buy a new one and take the amount out of the next months rent.

I wouldn't bother leaving it until / or taking anything at the end of the tenancy, as that is likely to cause problems with mis-remembering what was agreed (unless you get any agreements in writing), etc.

So, get it sorted out this month. And no half payments. It is the LL responsibly to replace any white goods that were in the place when you moved in.

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Thanks and normally I'd agree however they are decent landlords and I don't believe they're trying to screw me over, especially given they have offered to pay half which they don't have to per the contract.

I suppose what I'm trying to understand is that with clauses like this where the appliance breaks through wear and tear, and is not economically repairable, if I buy a new one am I legally able to take it with me. Digging around Shelter seems to think (wrongly) that repairs are the responsibility of the landlord, whereas this is only if it's stated in the AST.

Basically it seems 'reasonable' that buy a new one and get to keep it when I go but before I discuss it with them wanted to be clearer on precedent.

From experience, I'd assume no landlord is decent. The dodgiest ones paid my deposit back without a murmur, the nicest/friendliest one took the lot and hadn't used a TDS either.

I guess I look at it simply. They provided a fridge and no guarantee it would work, you decided to put it in the basement and put your own in place. They have no claim over your fridge - regardless of whether theirs is working.

Otherwise I agree with renting til I die - if they are supplying white goods, I think they are supposed to keep them working. That clause in your AST may be an unfair one.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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I'd be interested to hear a legal opinion on the fridge repair (if anyone ever gets one) as this seems to be something new that I am seeing more and more of now

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I've obviously done some digging and I'm not sure it's an unfair term (legally speaking) just unusual in my experience.

Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985 states that it is the landlord's responsibility

to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity,

Gas fittings are covered elsewhere and must be maintained but electricals aren't in that act. There is the argument of it being electrically safe or not but assuming it's not just broken I'm not sure that's an argument. Interestingly absent a clause stating they will repair appliances landlords seem absolved of responsibility to do so.

Given this I'm happy to be 'me' a new fridge (and ask the landlord what he wants doing with the broken one) but I'm not OK to buy them a new fridge, I'm just trying to gauge is anyone has had this before and where I stand.

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Every landlord I had fixed/replaced white goods like washing machines/fridge/cooker. But perhaps I simply benefited from their ignorance. Moot point now, of course, as I no longer rent - but interested in what you eventually find out.

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The reason it could be an unfair term possibly is that the LL has left the fridge there and allowed you to use it. Then when it breaks doesn't want to know about it. You are then left with a item that belongs to him cluttering up the kitchen. He seems to expect you to then store it for him and it will need to be moved to put another in place. Why is that your responsibility?

The LL wants it 2 ways. To leave the fridge there and attract a tenant maybe who wants whitewear included (which in my experience is still normal) but not to be responsible if it breaks.

Just an idea and it's one that a legal opinion is needed on unless there is existing case law. Does the AST clause override the normal responsibility of the LL to fix items that he owns and have been provided for your use.

"

Your own appliances and installations

You're responsible for repairing any of your own appliances such as a washing machine, or anything that you had installed, such as a shower.

If your landlord supplied any electrical appliances, they are responsible for maintaining them and your tenancy agreement may give more information about this.

Your landlord is also responsible for ensuring that any gas appliances which they supplied are safe, for example, a fitted gas fire.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/repairs-in-rented-housing/disrepair-landlord-and-tenant-repair-responsibilities/disrepair-what-are-the-tenant-s-responsibilities/

Edited by Flopsy

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Either some of the rent you're paying includes the use of them, in which case the landlord should replace or repair, or you're not, in which case he should at the very least not clutter up your house with broken junk when asked to remove it (and not expect to keep anything you replace it with). All IMO rather than whatever the rules might say.

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